17CD - Outward Sound Ensemble - Cloudburst
Almost in the direction of some AMM or the new reductionist school of improvisors, but somehow more dronelike and textural.
OSE is an Ontario based duo, formed in 2002, with Archer as special guest on this release. The music is a 60 minute realtime improvisation by the duo, playing alongside prerecorded material from Archer. This minimal and evocative music is described by the duo as "realtime soundscape diffusion", and is made with no overdubbing, no edits, and no mixing console to balance the sound, just the sparse instrumentation listed. Almost in the direction of some AMM or the new reductionist school of improvisors, but somehow more dronelike and textural. And a great moment when a huge thunderstorm starts mid way into the recording.
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Herb Bayley and Chris Meloche first met in 1988 when Bayley played a concert with bassist David Lee. Since that time, the two have worked together on numerous projects in many diverse contexts. In 2002, they began their latest sonic venture which they call the Outward Sound Ensemble (OSE). Prior to their first recording session, they had their own visions as to what the end result would sound like, however, it was never discussed between the two of them. After recording the first piece, they sat down and listened to the pIayback. Both agreed that it was the way in which they had imagined the work to sound. Bayley and Meloche now refer to the resulting process as "real-time soundscape diffusion." Meloche first heard Martin Archer's music in the mid-1990s. In recent years, Meloche has contributed to a number of Martin's recording projects. Subsequently, he felt that Martin would fit in well with the concept of an OSE recording. After listening to a coupIe of OSE sessions, Martin recorded an hour of sounds using a manipulated violin set-up. Bayley and Meloche both agreed that this material would fit well within the framework of their soundscapes. In the studio, the OSE play live direct to 2-track digital tape. There are no synthesizers or samplers employed, only the sparse instrumentation listed. The recordings are purely "live" with no overdubbing or edits. There is also no mixing console used to balance the sound. All balance is obtained by the placement of the sound producing elements in relation to the stereo binaural microphone system. During the recording of this session, a violent thunderstorm began. The listener can clearly hear claps of thunder about three quarters of the way through the recording followed by the white-noise rush of rain on the roof of the studio and more thunder. This only added to the atmosphere of the session and recording did not stop. "Cloudburst" is a document of a special moment in time when all of the elements completely fell into place.
Chris Meloche is a Canadian composer who has been involved in the creation of electronic and electroacoustic music for nearly 25 years. His music has been issued on a number of record labels across Europe and North America (FAX, Silent, Etherworld...) as well as being broadcast internationally (including a commissioned work for BBC Radio). Over the years, he has worked with other artists including musicians David Lee, Gerry Collins and Brian Lambert, sound-poet bill bissett and visual artist Jamelie Hassan. His work has been supported by several grants for the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Art Council. Meloche has also produced several projects with Herb Bayley over the course of nearly 15 years. In 2002, the pair founded the Outward Sound Ensemble as a new outlet for their collaborative sound-creation ideas.
Herb Bayley (musician/producer) has worked in nearly all areas of the arts for over 25 years. His artistic life began as a trombonist, which lead to work in community radio as an announcer and eventually as a freelance producer. As a producer he has worked in radio, live recording, theatre, video, dance, poetry, performance and visual arts as well as new media. Highlights include the founding of 'Sunfest' one of Canada's largest festivals of World Music, creating 'Radio Ethos' Canada's first volunteer-run community-based Internet radio station and co-founding 'Open Air' London Ontario's largest Public Art exhibition. As a musician he has worked and recorded in a wide variety of musical settings including big band, jazz, rock, punk, improv and electroacoustic music. Classically trained, most of his professional work has been in jazz and improvised music and has lead to long term partnerships with clarinetist Tom Lenehan, guitarist Lloyd Garber, saxophonist Eric Stach and his twin brother saxophonist Randy Bayley. One of his most fruitful collaborations is with composer Chris Meloche yielding, over the course of 15 years, numerous innovative and diverse projects. Their current collaboration is the Outward Sound Ensemble in which they are developing a new sonic vocabulary they call "soundscape diffusion". This new vital open language is the stimulus for a vast array of future projects and collaborations with many other art forms.
Chris Meloche - electroacoustic guitar
Herb Bayley - trombone
Martin Archer - violectronics
"A tremendously subtle work for which you need to devote the hour's attention it deserves as it slowly reveals its secrets, like a labyrinth.....an amazingly vivid sound..... you can almost smell the freshmints on the breath of the two Canadian performers..... Measured, quiet and deliberative, producing effects that are etherial and fugitive, but there's no concealing the wiry strength at the core" - Ed Pinsent, Sound Projector
"Essential" - Philippe Renaud, Improjazz
"For this opulent, absorbing release, the prolific Martin Archer joins forces with the improvisng duo of Herb Bayley and Chris Meloche. Closer to the dark ambient stylings of, say, :zoviet*france: or Main than hardcore Improv, it swathes a wealth of instrumental detail in the reverb-drenched atmospherics of Archer's processed violin. Occasionally over saturated with this sepulchral echo. it's nevertheless a hugely enjoyable 60 minutes. Bayley's miniature splutters and smears dance around the stereo spectrum, showing his inventive use of the binaural mic system, and the thunderstorm that appears two thirds of the way through adds more than a touch of magic to the session" - Keith Moline, WIRE
"It's an eery experience, akin to the emptiness, sense of personal insignificance, but also wonder that may be experienced when listening to Gyorgy Lygeti's orchestral music or the final disc of Pan Sonic's Kesto. There is much detail here and a sense of conscious, sensitive interaction in an alien language. This is perhaps all the more fascinating because the source of these sounds are such traditional musical instruments. The feeling grows that whatever is taking place has little to do with human civilisation and is occurring at a great distance from habitation. Cloudburst is a remarkable piece of... well what? Perhaps the most recognisable description would be soundscaping, but this seems to imply something too earthbound, too rooted for a work that is so penumbral and frequently so alien. When recalled it holds a haunting place in the memory. Whatever term may be applied to Cloudburst, it is a very impressive sonic performance." - Colin Buttimer BBC